The thing that keeps me on my treadmill for an hour and then to my strength training exercises and then to my mat for yoga; the thing that stops me from eating beyond the point when I have had quite enough; the thing that tells me “no” when I want something I can’t afford and so I walk away from it; the thing that has me flossing every night because it is good for me; the thing that keeps me healthy and strong and powerful is—Discipline. But this isn’t Wednesday and time for Personal Trainer Kat, this is Monday Classroom.
So, my beautiful friends, that same discipline I use for my body is a contributing factor—a hah-uuuge one—to being a successful author/novelist. And by “successful,” for these purposes, I mean an author/novelist who creates and completes
works. And for this author, that means at least a book a year–so far. Without discipline, it’s easy to slip into the idea of writing, to talking about writing, to writing about writing, without ever actually writing the danged ole book. I’m looking at you—yeah you! You with the Face! The Guilty Face! You know I’m right don’t you? Right? Riiighhht. And my face can be added to the guilty since I have been doing just about everything BUT the writing of “The Lightning Charmer,” which is due in a year–and that year will speed of light pass. Why have I not been writing?–shiny things! shiny things! shiny things! And folkses, the writing is what I love the best–it’s the balm that soothes. I’ve not been drinking my Discipline Juice and it shows–my black-holed brain’s synapses are WHOOP WHOOP WHIR WHIR BA-LOOP BA-LOOP BOING BOING. Oh dear.
As much as I love what I do–writing books–I sometimes will procrastinate. Yeah! Me! Huhn. Can you buh-leeve it? Little ole pea-headed me la tee dahing around as if I don’t have a thang in the world to do – la la la la la tee dah. There’s some shiny thing that captures my attention, or I’ll play on the internet, or I’ll call myself doing “research” when I know all I’m doing is messing around. Well, it’s time for danged ole mean Discipline to pull me up by my ears and sit my arse in my chair and put my fingers on the keys and tell me, “Stop fekering around and write your danged book, or else!”
My (and yours, too?) Or else’s could mean, do mean—
The less I write, the crazier I am—oh you think I am being a cliché? That I’m pulling on that “writer’s persona” – oh no y’allses. I am slap dab cray-cray when I do not regularly write. And “or else” means I’ll not meet my deadlines—if I were working at a “9 to 5 regular job” and didn’t do my work, I’d be fired; well, it’s the same if I don’t meet my deadlines—then I could hear a see ya Kat! We’ll go find some author who takes her job seriously and meets her deadlines and actually writes books instead of just saying she’s going to—huhn. I’ve always met my deadlines because I drank my Discipline Juice. Give me a glass, quick! If I don’t write my readers will sure miss my books—okay, this is my hope anyway *haw!* But, yes, I suppose there are some who would miss me before eventually forgetting about me because there are plenny more authors out there who will WRITE THE DANGED BOOK! It means I don’t pull in a salary. “Or else” means I let people down—and I let myself down.
Folks, whatever it is you want, discipline is the vehicle to drive you there—hey “drive” – yeah – discipline and drive – get it Huh? get it! Ha!
Discipline: Thesaurus on word doc reads—control, regulation, restraint, authority obedience, and the opposite of it reads: CHAOS. Oh! How perfect for me! Yes, chaos happens inside my pea-headed brain and all up and around this here Self when I am not disciplined. Lawdy be.
Y’allses, you must drink your daily glass of Discipline Juice so you can grow strong and supple and capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound! Or at least you will reach your goals and do the things you wish for, hope for, live for, dream about, and if leaping tall buildings in a single bound is your dream, well, um, well—okay, it probably ain’t gonna happen—I hate to be the one to bust up your bubbles but maybe you oughta think of something else to strive for. Just sayin. Buildings are TALL, dang it all. Oh, you meant metaphorically leap over them -well, why didn’t you say so. Huhn.
Without discipline we eat and drink too much, spend too much, laze around too much, make excuses too much.
Discipline can suck. Discipline is a party-pooper. Discipline is on its high-horse, sitting there all holier than thou and all, huhn! But, it belongs on its pedestal, for when it is practiced, when discipline is hugged to us and becomes a part of us, it creates and builds and achieves and glorifies and stretches us beyond what and where we ever thought we’d go and be.
Discipline is what is going to get me off this blog and into my word doc, off bloopering around social networking (even telling myself “but it’s for my novels—I’m promo’ing!” Uh Huh, you are “promo’ing” about as much as a dawg “promos” on the lawn. You ain’t doing shit.), gets me out of my Boopmobile “because I have to run some errands” (although I do rarely leave my lil log house and maybe should run more errands, haw!), gets me off my couch until it’s actually time to hit my couch—sends me right-cheer to sit on my butt and write The Lightning Charmer and the next book and the next. To give it all I have. To write with all the heart I have—and when I do this, I am doing what I do best, what I love, and it’s the greatest thing ever, and then Discipline shakes its head and rolls its eyes as I say, “Why’d I procrastinate? This is WONDERFUL! This is all I ever wanted to do! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! YAAAHOOOOOOOOOO!”
So how’s about it y’all? Let’s all drink a big ole glass of Discipline Juice and get our arses to work. You up for it? Drink it down and then use Discipline when that next “THANG” hovers before your brain all tantalizing and shiny—that choice you will make without excuses to do what you have to/must do for your dreams is Discipline. The choice (discipline) that will yield results.
What do you need to be more disciplined about, my friends?